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karzai government who stole the election and ruled only topple. so much of afghanistan is effectively run by the taliban. in addition, we've had eight years with the u.s. has isolated between the kinetic counterterrorism strategy and a counterinsurgency strategy that tries to protect people. and we have seen the last oscillation of that. this happened during the bush administration, and now it's happening again in the obama administration that we are moving back to a counterinsurgency strategy. now besides afghanistan being a much harder, not to crack that iraq we now have a lot of domestic factors affecting the u.s. policy. the american public is war weary after two wars stretched out over many years. and i think it's politically perilous for any politician in a democracy to escalate a war that is already unpopular, even lbj didn't do that when he escalated the vietnam war. u.s. spending in afghanistan is more per year than any other military spends on the planet. so we're dumping a lot of resources into afghanistan. the afghan war is expected to cost another trillion dollars over the ne
which is often not the case. hamid karzai is not particularly interested in doing that. at one point, his generals came to him and said these changes are starting to demoralize the army and his reply was i don't care. if they are bad i will demoralize them some more. there are a few instances where political considerations outweigh merit in how commanders are chosen. sometimes in the military there is a tendency to say how dare we let that happen? certainly it can be damaging in many ways but keep in mind that war is a political activity. there are cases where politics from merrick. our civil war is an excellent example. abraham lincoln gave ships to a lot of inexperienced politicians in the north in order to get their help in reporting people from their state and so forth. ultimately at the higher level you have some sort of balance between merit and political considerations. afghanistan has that balance and the government has not put merit often a enough. in the book i go into a lot of detail on what foreign powers in the united states and afghanistan to improve the leaders of indi
. the book centers on this incident which i described where u.s. special operators blocked hamid karzai's planned governor for kabul. she interweaves into it a very well-written and interestingly a history that is well-written, well-organized, and based on a lot of her own research with the original sources. a second really important understanding of the country can be gotten from joe haversty's book "the opium season" which details a year in which he was involved in as a subcontractor in the usaid efforts in 2 004-2005 to provide alternative livelihood's to draw with the work force from up opium production. it gives a great view of the violence and corruption. and moreover it shows the bureaucratic profiteering and dysfunction that is increasing the complexity and cost of our involvement, not just in war, but in development. a third source, and i think it is outstanding if you want to understand the country is rory stewart, who within weeks after the fall of the taliban walked to kabul in the winter which is supposed to kill you and through pashtun villages and described that experienc
about the cabinet picks, the selections of hamid karzai. cabinet crisis reveals karzai's weakening grasp. lawmakers unhappy with the president's pick. what is the concern over the choices? >> guest: president karzai has made two sets of choices. he nominated once slate of cabinet officials about 24 of them. seventeen were rejected by the parliament. the parliament in a healthy move is asserting itself. this is a good thing. have some balancing, checks and balances as we understand them. so the parliament looked at the first slate of nominees from karzai and did not like many of them. rejected them. the parliament did choose, did agree, and did confirm several of the most important cabinet choices from president karzai, minister of defence and minister of interior which handles all the police, minister of finance, minister of agriculture. one of the big recipients of assistance. so the cabinet in this area somewhat. president karzai has recently submitted a second slate to replace those that were rejected the first time. these are lesser-known people. the second slate of lesser-known peop
, if someone is a relative of karzai then things become problematic. we like to think we are going to defer to the host nation's judgement but sometimes we have got to have a role in the same thing goes too in iraq early on we said we are going to let the afghans do it. you have got to let the native population to get themselves. sometimes that just doesn't work and sometimes the americans just have to get more involved. >> a question over here. >> hi tom. i have got to comment. i am a civil affairs guy and i have that kind of a comment for tom and then a question for mark. i have got to pick up on where you left off on your final point because i think in my experience as a practitioner in this kind of business to include low level counterinsurgency operations and i just did in liberia. >> i just want to point out that chris was the one of the great heroes when he tried to keep the kobo from blowing up. >> i think there is way too much emphasis on hearts and minds. as i like to tell people i don't care if you like me because i'm going home to write my harley-davidson. so my mission here is
will visit president cause i -- hamid karzai. there is no need to make political points. afghanistan will no doubt be addressed by president obama in his state of the union address tonight but he is also expected to talk about reforms for the regulation of the banking system and no country was left more exposed to the failure of the banking system than the united kingdom. president obama has called for retail banks to be prevented from getting involved in large-scale proprietary trading. what is the government not supporting the president's proposal enthusiastically and working to bring these about? >> we are working closely internationally including one with president obama. they have different structures and different problems in the banking system which they are seeking to address and we are seeking problems in our banking system but it is important to work together internationally to be sure we can deal with the problems that have so affected all of our economies. >> it is important to work together internationally but the prime minister says he did not envy the divide in future
fighters, the karzai government has been working closely with general mcchrystal's staff under the leadership of a british major general to construct a plan offering incentives to low- and mid-level taliban fighters who are willing to lay down their weapon and recognize the afghan government's authority. president karzai has said that he will be ready to issue this plan within a month or so, and u.s. officials expect to be fully supportive. it will take a few months after that to make the plan operational. while there is apparently no progress to negotiate with higher level taliban to end the violence and become politically active, it doesn't reduce the need to chip away at that lower-level taliban group. we read in the press today that progress is being made. as a matter of fact, with leaders, local leaders in afghanistan in that endeavor. in conclusion, we saw some signs of progress on our visit in a number of critical ways, in training and equipping afghan security forces, in partnering closely in the field with the afghan security forces and a perception and reality of opti
ability for governments. this was discussed at length to present karzai, and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably in putting the trip that hillary clinton and i made an afghanistan in october 18 and 19th in conjunction with president karzai's inauguration. the afghans understood this. they are very comfortable with it. . . to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest. and it helped -- influenced me a lot as we tried to develop our own benchmarks. but i think we have to be very careful about two things. maybe th
gear as losing its cachet and they point to the fact that president karzai began wearing this hat as an attempt to devise the war broke the was afghan rather than fm or regional but there is a quote in here from an afghani saying now it is clear mr. karzai is a passion. do you have confidence in the government, do you have concerns? >> guest: i have confidence and concerns just as i did in iraq. we have to understand the huge challenges the leaders in both of these countries face literally just in staying alive. i got to know hamid karzai when i first got to afghanistan at the beginning of 2002 when he had only been in office a few weeks himself. eight years later he's still in office facing extraordinarily challenges. and there are clearly a lot of problems and things he has to work on and things we have to do in support of him but i had the opportunity to get to know him personally and whatever hat he may be wearing at the moment one thing i absolutely persuaded is he is an afghan national list. >> host: next on call river hit new york on the republican line. >> caller: ambassad
an interim government in afganistan to be led by its interim president hamid karzai. despite the early success al qaeda's leadership was able to find a safe haven in pakistan's tribal areas. a few years later it gained enough strength to once again pose a serious threat to the u.s. meanwhile the taliban reestablished its headquarters in pakistan and gained enough strength as a result of inadequate afghanistan security forces. by last year the situation had grown so pa perilous that generl stanley mcchrystal issued a report stating that our failure to gain the initiative and reverse the momentum of the taliban within 12 months to make defeating the insurgency impossible. it was largely as a result of that assessment that the president agreed last year to send 30,000 more troops to afganistan. earlier this month i and some of my colleagues had the opportunity to visit afganistan and pakistan to assess the situation on the ground firsthand. among other things, we saw progress in the crucial southern provinces of kandahar. though in the early phases general crystal's -- mcchrystal's plan t
on afghanistan, the london conference will be attended by president karzai the u.n. secretary general vana and 60 nations will be represented. we will be announcing new figures for nato forces and for afghan forces in the time to come. and we will be focusing on how the political and civilian surge that we plan in afghanistan can match and complement the military service that is taking place. on wednesday, the day before the first international meeting will be held to agree how we can strengthen support for yemen in its efforts against al qaeda and how we can help the government of yemen with the development and governance. as i said last week in a common statement i made on security, we know that there are terrorist groups with plans to hinchliffe damage on our country and we are always on alert. we will be vigilant against those who seek to destroy and undermine our democracy and our way of life. let me add one thing also at this morning. i sent my condolences to president harari and prime minister mellis after the crash of the ethiopian airways flight on the coast of lebanon and we are working
karzai and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably with the trip that hillary clinton and i had made to afghanistan on october 18 and 19 in conjunction with the inauguration. the afghans understood this, they are very comfortable with it. so i need to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest. and it helped -- influenced me a lot as we tried to develop our own benchmarks. but i think we have to be very careful about two things. maybe three things. one, let's not confuse input and output. it's a very common probl
, starring robert downey, jr., provides just the kind of karzai that we've come to expect, not just of car advertising. again, but from much of the entertainer that we indulge in that is car centric. american car ideology lights the messages that come to us in many hollywood films, is supported by a series of core american values. individualism, freedom, are two of the key, but also family -- the very american dreams. the automakers have tapped into the core american values in their advertising. and a year in and year out, we are exposed to tens of billions of messages from them. just any advertising, let alone the marketing, promotion and publicity. because we are supposed under exposed to this and realize we are born, we come to intensely associate these ideas that we already have about what the car can provide us. we associate those values and more intensely with the car. freedom is one of the key values with the car taps into. the iconic image of the lone car traveling wickedly, widely and freely down this anti-roadway. no other cars in sight. is really an exhilarating image of freedom
was -- >> the karzai government -- >> i think again this is one that is also better directed to the state department i think it is probably a sign of some progress house odd as that may sound that there is a healthy give-and-take between the branches of government and in a space afghanistan where the parliament, the legislature is saying we are not going to necessarily rubber-stamp the president's cabinet choices. we have checks and balances here, the congress has to confirm every cabinet selection here and a similar thing is going on there. with that said we have a process as quickly as possible because the government in afghanistan is something that needs to improve quickly and the longer there is limbo the more difficult that becomes. yes, go ahead. >> [inaudible] -- about to happen in yemen and the u.s. but already some of the top leaders pushed back of the exact level of taking from the u.s. and and and -- does that told the u.s. caused with operations to help identify [inaudible] >> i haven't seen the comments which you refer. i've seen other comments from the many military or civilian leaders t
that his concerns about president karzai are any different today? that anything has changed since -- >> again, i don't want to get into discussing those cables. i would simply say that at the conclusion of the election, the president had -- president obama had a conversation with president karzai. i think you heard the president speak clearly at west point and since then about the need to take governance seriously. that there was not an open-ended blank check for waste and abuse going forward in afghanistan. and the president and his team, and particularly ambassador eikenberry would be paying close attention. >> understanding your refusal to increase operations -- or to move to north waziristan to the north for a year and that was pretty clear on that strategy that there be something on that side of the border going on. >> let me see what i can get from d.o.d. for you. >> back to the state of the union. ask about the tone, are we going to see the president chastened by massachusetts or of the any developments of the past year? are we seeing a feisty defiant president kind of like
for the electoral process. it was a sickness can step. we are now watching closely as the karzai yet patrician and parliament put together the key ministers of the national government. we are going to continue our efforts in afghanistan but we also recognize, as the president outlined, we need to continue to move as rapidly as possible because clearly we want as i am sure the afghan people want to be able to see this transition where functions that may well be done today by the national community that we are building up the capacity for the government to be able to assume these responsibilities over the next couple of years. >> i have a question about a related country, and i would be human. haleh tomb are you to be anti-american, anti-western or antiforeign sentiment in yemen and do you have any concerns that those feelings would hinder or hurt your attempt to to help the yemenis government? >> well, i think we continue to look for ways in which we can support the yemeni government on military bases, civilian basis and economic basis and we are encouraged by the recent comments by the preside
will keep a focus on this -- >> i hope you're speaking for yourself. >> you did a great job with karzai and i'll say that again. [laughter] >> the fact is that this is an opportunity for us, i think, to continue to put pressure -- to make sure that more draconian steps are taken instead of willy-nilly kind of things that yielded the same kinds of results and i thank you for your testimony. >> i couldn't agree with you, senator. we'll come to that point after senator shaheen. but i don't agree with you at all. i think this is a moment and i think it's going to take the tough hand of leadership. senator shaheen? >> i notice the bell hadn't gone off but we're not drifting around here. we can have a second round. >> i prefer to think of it as an opportunity to finish my questions. i want to thank each one of you for being here and for your insights into this horrific human tragedy. i share my colleagues gratification and the outpouring from not only the united states but from the rest of the world to try and respond to this tragedy. and i guess my first question before i ask more about the
as encouraging president karzai to root out corruption. encouraging th the program is still relatively new. i am troubled by continued reports from the media and suggesting that the program is simply in effective in stemming foreclosures. my constituents and feel it is ineffective because they're not getting help. this congress has acted earlier. i helped with a be helping families save their homes act which would give authority to bankruptcy judges to modify mortgage terms including a reduction of the mortgage principal. also i sponsored an amendment to the regulatory reform legislation. it contains language that is substantially identical to the authority of hr1106. this provision has not been signed into law as it has not been passed by the senate. i now give it over to the ranking member. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. i believe that by allowing mortgage cramdown in bankruptcy poses a major threat to the housing sector and the overall economy. it is completely unfair to future borrowers, it harms lenders and investors and it undermines the stability necessary for recov
Search Results 0 to 17 of about 18

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